Twelve Summer Snap Shots

25 Aug
Coffee & one of the dozens of desserts that Mom made over the course of the summer

Coffee & one of the dozens of desserts that Mom made over the course of the summer

Here we are – almost 3 months since our last post – and about 8,000 miles west of our Jordanian home of two years.  To be honest, I have avoided writing about this transition because I knew it would be “a biggie” emotionally speaking, and trying to condense a period of time that you’ve looked forward to for so long down to a few hundred characters on a screen just isn’t how I want to archive this transition.

So, I won’t!

I woke up this morning thinking, “Today is truly the last day of summer” (for me at least; Phillip already started orientation and meetings last week).  Tomorrow we will have been in Austin exactly 2 weeks, and I will begin my new job at UT Austin’s ESL Services.  I am looking forward to meeting some co-workers and hope to find some “kindred spirits” among them.  Whether I figure out who any of those people are this week or not, it will be nice to exponentially increase the number of people that I know in this city.  Right now, the sum of my acquaintances is 3!

In tribute to summer 2013, here are twelve of my favorite snapshots and memories.

(1) Homecoming to the fam!  It was so wonderful to be reunited with family; I missed them so much!

All 10 of us... (Beth counts for 2!)

All 10 of us… (Beth counts for 2!)

(2) Hearing Eliana talk!  The last time we’d seen her in person, she was about 7 months old.  Now she’s 18 months and about to be a big sister!  One of her top summer sayings:  “No eat bath.”  She also fell in love with a Dr. Seuss book about sounds.  Phillip coined all the sound effects for the story, and we all (including Eliana) repeated them all summer.  While by the end of our time together, she could distinguish between me and Phillip, the names she used for us were not exactly our own, but adorable nonetheless.  Phillip is “RR” (which is my family-given nickname), and I am “Day-shur.”

We read the Dr. Seuss book yet again...

We read the Dr. Seuss book yet again…

(3) Seeing Susie, Jordan, & Hadassah in the western world.  Phillip and I drove up to Charlotte to meet them for a day… and eat sushi.

(4) Visiting Stone Mountain Park with McAfee friends.  Mark and Sarah hosted us and we were able to enjoy one last hangout with Carson and Laura before they depart for their 3-year service at a church in Japan.

(5) Hanging out with Rick & getting a visit from the Alabama Stokes.  Rick always updates us on the newest “best fill-in-the-blank-with-a-genre-of-food place in town!”  And we enjoy great conversation with him.

(6) Stringing beads with Grandy & laughing at Aunt Sharon’s stories while we all ate fried fish, hush puppies, fried pickles, collards, and cole slaw at Top O’the River in Guntersville.  (Aunt Sharon and I have decided to write a book, by the way… more to come on that!)

A hilarious group of people to eat with.

A hilarious group of people to eat with.

(7) Construction with Dad & building stained glass windows.  We worked a little on his carport and finished cementing and painting patina on a lovely little window he sent to Austin with me.

Dad & Phillip show the strength it takes to make a very feminine headboard.  Maybe I should've chosen a less girly fabric... nah, I love this one!

Dad & Phillip show the strength it takes to make a very feminine headboard. Maybe I should’ve chosen a less girly fabric… nah, I love this one!

(8) Throwing a baby shower with Mom & Joanna for Beth & Carney’s 2nd little girl (due the end of October)!  Hummingbird cake & tissue paper pom-poms hung on a tree branch over the table… thanks, Pinterest!

"Little Sister's" Baby Shower -- can't wait to meet her this fall!

“Little Sister’s” Baby Shower — can’t wait to meet her this fall!

Love my sisters & my nieces!

Love my sisters & my nieces!

Meeting Elizabeth for the first time... I think she liked me!

Meeting Elizabeth for the first time… I think she liked me!

(9) Meeting Marie & Wes’ little girl, Elizabeth.  What fabulous parents, and what a sweet, content blonde baby.

(10) Hearing Phillip say, “It is finished at the University of Jordan” and then telling him, “It looks like we’ll both be employees at UT this fall” just a few hours before he got on an airplane to come home from his thesis presentation in Amman.

On August 9 (the day before our drive out to Texas!), Joanna and I picked Phillip (and his paper) up from the airport in Atlanta.  We weren’t able to greet him with hugs and balloons until the TSA people had released him from a special room for questioning.  Perhaps his 5 trips between Jordan and the U.S. within 6 weeks had something to do with it…

The moment I'd been waiting for!

The moment I’d been waiting for!

The paper I referred to was the long-awaited, much anticipated sealed document from the University of Jordan stating that he had completed all his hours and requirements for graduation.  UT needed this since UJ wouldn’t be printing transcripts/diplomas until after UT had started its fall semester.

(11) Road tripping from Austin to Atlanta in a 16-foot moving truck that blew a tire an hour into our trip.  No, we hadn’t even crossed the Georgia/Alabama state line before this happened although we could see it about 70 yards down the shoulder of interstate 20.  Yes, we looked at that line for about 3 ½ hours before the Budget 24-hour Roadside Assistance people were able to send us a new tire and someone to change it.  (Brought a whole new meaning to the “24-hour” part…)

Waiting on the shoulder of I-20 westbound around 9am the Sunday morning we left Atlanta for Austin.  Hey, you're gonna wait a long time for someone to come change the tire on your moving truck if those cards are in your hand!

Waiting on the shoulder of I-20 westbound around 9am the Sunday morning we left Atlanta for Austin. Hey, you’re gonna wait a long time for someone to come change the tire on your moving truck if those cards are in your hand! Thanks for packing ice and water in the cooler, Mom!

(12) Driving into Austin from the north side through the green rolling hills and realizing that this is going to be our new home.  After living 7 time zones apart from family for two years, Texas just doesn’t seem that far.  And it’s not!

Day 4 together in Austin next to the Colorado (a.k.a. "Lake Austin" as it's known locally -- I'm sorry people, but that is a river, not a lake).

Day 4 together in Austin next to the Colorado (a.k.a. “Lake Austin” as it’s known locally — I’m sorry people, but that is a river, not a lake).

Thanks to all the friends and family who shared your time and resources to spend time with us these past few weeks!  Hope it won’t be too long before we see you again!

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One Response to “Twelve Summer Snap Shots”

  1. Sharon August 26, 2013 at 12:37 am #

    Loved this! May God bless your new home:)

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